Cooler Master Releases MasterKeys Pro Series Keyboards

Cooler Master released their newest series of keyboards, the MasterKeys Pro series. The new MasterKeys Pro is available in two versions so you get just the size you need, want, and prefer, whether you like a full sized keyboard or rather a TKL without the num pad. Both versions feature the same functions and customizability, so pick which is best for your gaming needs. The full-sized version is called the MasterKeys Pro L and the TKL version is called the MasterKeys Pro S.

The Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro has a minimalistic design, but don’t let that fool you. The keyboard features full RGB backlighting with multiple effects and full customizability. On top of the extra bright LEDs, you find the Cherry MX switches of your choice, whether that might be red, brown, or blue switches.

It appears like a very simple keyboard when looking at it, but the MasterKeys pro is anything but simple. It is built with a 32-bit ARM processor which increases the possibilities when it comes to on-the-fly macro recording as well as general features. Most keyboards rely on software solutions to handle things and you can use Cooler Master’s software tool to configure and set up your keyboard to match your needs, but you don’t have to. You can do everything software-free too via the on-the-fly system built into the MasterKeys Pro keyboards.

“The MasterKeys Pro offers multiple lighting modes. Presets include Color Wave, Breathing, and other responsive effects. You can choose between red, brown, or blue switches to match your tactile preference,” said Kevin Yang, Peripherals Product Manager. “And you get all the features, whether you prefer a full size keyboard or a tenkeyless design. In addition to easy-to-use software, we are working on a Software Development Kit (SDK) to truly help Make It Yours.”

Cooler Master needed to completely redesign the interior of the MasterKeys to fit both the original Cherry MX switches as well as the much bigger and brighter LEDs used here. The end result looks stunning and should provide you with a stable partner for your online battles. The sleek lines, refined symmetry, and a heavy-weight quality build will help you keep things clean and simple. Speaking of clean and simple, the full-sized L version comes with hidden positioning grooves on the bottom of the keyboard, giving you 180° cable management and the ability to keep your keyboard and desktop sleek and organized regardless of arrangement preference.

The keys themselves have a soft-to-touch and long-lasting UV coating for a great experience and long-lasting effect that won’t result in missing letters and discolored keys.

Both the MasterKeys Pro L and MasterKeys Pro S are available in Europe from today, March the 15th, for a recommended retail price of €169 and €139 respectively. If all that peeked your interest, then you should check out our full review of the MasterKeys Pro S for an in-depth analysis and verdict.

Cooler Master Masterkeys Pro S Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Introduction


Cooler Master are one of the biggest and best in the industry, not only for their high-end chassis such as the Master Case Pro 5, but also their power supplies, coolers and most importantly today, their peripherals. Dropping the CM Storm branding, their latest keyboard, the Masterkeys Pro S TKL, falls in line with their “maker” series of products. Last year so very little new products from CM and we knew they were cooking up something big. They came back after a long period of silence with a completely redesigned and focused product line, and their “make it yours” philosophy.

All the new products we’ve seen from Cooler Master have been beyond impressive, so I’m really eager to see what their new premium-grade mechanical keyboard has to offer. There are two models available, the full-size MasterKeys Pro L and the TKL MasterKeys Pro S, which is the one we have in the eTeknix office today.

“Get the best of both worlds with the MasterKeys Pro L and Pro S: the brightest LEDs and the best tactile feeling that gamers have come to love. We completely redesigned the interior to fit both Cherry MX switches and big, fat, LEDs that can radiate 16.7 million colors. You also get on-the-fly macros, profile support, and easy-to-use software – all in a sleek, minimalistic design.” – Cooler Master

The new keyboards come with all the premium features you would expect, such as customisable RGB lighting, Cherry MX switches, macro support, anti-ghosting and N-key rollover and more. Most importantly, at least in terms of the RGB lighting, is that cooler master customised the PCB, allowing for larger and brighter LEDs, without compromising on the use of Cherry MX switches.

• Brilliant RGB lighting with 16.7 million colors

• Exclusive Cooler Master design makes each LED pop out and shine

• Multiple lighting modes

• Change and customize colors with or without software

• Presets include Color Wave, Breathing, and responsive effects

• Cherry MX switches

• Guaranteed to endure at least 50 million keystrokes

• On-the-fly macro and profile support

• On-board processor and profile keys let you save macros and backlighting settings without hassle

• 100% anti-ghosting with N-key rollover

• Ensure each keypress is correctly detected regardless how many other keys are being pressed

• Detachable cable

• Cables won’t get in your way or clutter your desktop

• Hidden underside positioning grooves gives you 180° cable management (only for Pro L)

The packaging is very nicely designed, showing off the RGB lighting in all its glory, as well as touting the use of Cherry MX switches.

Around the back, a little breakdown of the build, showing the PCB, switches, casing and key caps.

In the box, you’ll find everything you need to get you started. This includes a high-quality micro-USB braided cable, which fully detachable from the keyboard, a key cap removal tool and a nice and colourful user’s guide.

Logitech Atlas Spectrum G410 TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Introduction


Today is a special day here at eTeknix, as we’ve got the all-new Logitech Atlas Spectrum G410 mechanical keyboard. That in itself is pretty special, as this is a major product for Logitech, but it’s also great for us, as it’s been a long time since we’ve had a Logitech product on the site, and it’s certainly nice to have them back in the office again.

The G410 is certainly an interesting and unique product, which is not a common thing in a considerably over saturated peripherals market, where very similar products are commonplace. With a compact and lightweight design, this TKL (Ten Keys Less) keyboard is designed for gaming at home, eSports, LAN gaming and more, basically anything gaming related. Being lightweight means it’s easy to carry and that’s going to be great for gamers who like to travel with their systems to various events.

One thing really got my attention about this keyboard, it comes with switches I’ve never used, the Logitech exclusive Romer-G Mechanical Switches. Promising quiet performance, a shorter actuation and high-end reliability, they’re certainly interesting switches and as an added bonus, they’re also equipped with 16.8 million RGB LED per-key lighting.

“Where every millisecond matters, get the edge on the competition. Exclusive Romer-G™ switches gives Atlas Spectrum™ compact mechanical keyboard up to 25 percent faster key switch actuation. Atlas Spectrum weathers the wear and tear of intense gaming for years to come.” Reads the Logitech website.

There’s even a mobile phone dock, allowing you to easily use your smart phone for Arx Control, a Logitech app for game info, system statistics and more.

“Logitech Arx Control app for Android and iOS adds second screen capability that allows your mobile device to display in-game info, vital system statistics, and more. For ease of access, Atlas Spectrum’s removable Arx Control dock is stored conveniently in your keyboard and can be placed anywhere on your desk.”

Check out the product video below to find out more about the G410, then we’ll jump in and take a closer look at it ourselves!

As you can see, this keyboard is insanely light, clocking in at just 830g with the cable!

The packaging is nicely laid out, with a colourful image of the keyboard on the front, as well as details of the new Romer-G switches.

Around the back, a little more information on the tournament ready design, phone dock and per-key lighting.

Turtle Beach Impact 500 TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Introduction


It’s been a very interesting time for Turtle Beach, with the revealing their new desktop peripherals at CES 2015, we’re now very excited to have them in the eTeknix office. We’ve already looked at their new gaming nice, the GRIP 500 and the GRIP 300, as well as their full-size mechanical keyboard, the IMPACT 700. Today, we’ve got their first Ten Keys Less (TKL) keyboard, the Impact 500.

“The Turtle Beach IMPACT 500 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard for PC and Mac combines precision and power in a minimalist, tenkeyless keycap layout for minimum distance and smaller keyboard footprint. For that sharp, tactile feel, the Impact 500 features Cherry Blue MX mechanical switches that deliver gold-standard responsiveness. Six-key rollover with full anti-ghosting means fast-moving fingers can control games without the fear of missed moves and dropped instructions. And a rubber-coated, steel reinforce chassis provides rock-solid stability in a small footprint occupying less space on your desktop.”

TKL keyboards are very popular with LAN gamers, as they’re much easier to chuck in your bag and transport. They’re also great for those who don’t rely on the number pad, as their compact size frees up a huge amount of space no your desk, which means more room to move your mouse, so they’re perfect for those with limited desk space too.

The Impact 500 TKL comes equipped with the very popular Cherry MX switches, in this case, we have Cherry MX Blue on our sample.

In the box, you’ll find the keyboard, a detachable braided USB cable and a quick start guide.

The keyboard design is pretty straight forward, but not so basic that it is boring, as there’s no doubt that this is still a very nice looking keyboard.

The keyboard is a little heavy, as is the case with most mechanical keyboards. It feels pretty rugged and very well made overall, so it should stand up to lifetime of abuse from those long gaming sessions and LAN events.

The 500 has a slight slope to its design, with a slow curve on the key layout from front to back; this should provide you with a comfortable typing position, but it can be raised further with the kickstands at the back.

The key caps are of a very good quality and they don’t bottom out on the chassis of the keyboard, giving you nothing but the tactile sensation of the MX Blue switch when you’re typing.

There’s an Fn-Shift function on the Impact 500, this gives you access to some basic multimedia, volume and windows lock keys along the top of the keyboard.

There’s also a small LED light on the Windows Lock/F9 key so you can see when this feature is enabled.

To keep the exterior bezel to a minimum, the CAPLK and SCRLK indicators are located just above the INS and HOME keys, further helping to save desk space, without compromising on key spacing or the need to make the chassis bigger.

The arrow keys are located quite close to the corner, but since the keyboard is rather slim here, you won’t need the use of a wrist rest. The keys are slightly recessed into the body of the keyboard too, giving you an even slightly lower design overall.

The trim around the keyboard is nice and clean with no ports or anything on show.

 

There’s a cable track on the underside of the keyboard, allowing you to take the USB cable out the left, right or back of the keyboard.

The Mini-USB connector is recessed under the keyboard, so it’s unlikely you’ll accidentally pull the cable out of its fitting.

Here you can see the cable attached to the keyboard; nice and simple.

There’s four rubber grips on the underside of the IMPACT 500, so it won’t slide around your desk while you’re gaming. There’s also two small rubber grips on the kickstands so you don’t lose the grip when using the extra feet.

Razer Releases BlackWidow Tournament Edition Chroma TKL Keyboard

Razer is about to release a new and more compact version of the pretty popular BlackWidow Chroma keyboard, the new BlackWidow Tournament Edition Chroma. The more compact size originates from the TKL, or ten-keys-less, design where the num pad has been left out. Technically TKL is a completely wrong description as there are 17 keys less on these keyboard compared to an ordinary PC keyboard, but that’s the term it goes by.

The new tournament edition still holds all the great features of the original keyboard, including the 16.8 million customizable colour backlight option and the detachable USB cable. The compact form factor and removable cable makes it easy to carry and take with you to LANs and tournaments, and that’s where the name comes from.

Users can define their own key zones with individual coloured backlighting and the colours and areas shown in these press images are just one way it can look. You could easily create a setup where you just highlight the buttons you need for the game you’re currently playing. The keyboard is using Razer’s own mechanical switches with optimised actuation and reset points for improved performance and with a distinct tactile feel. Each of these switches is built to last up to 60 million keystrokes.

The new Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition Chroma Keyboard will be available in the Razer online store starting April 16th for a price of $140 or April 22nd for €169.99 in Europe.

The bad news for most of us is that this is another US-layout only keyboard. Razer has a tendency to release their top-tier and best-featured keyboards with just the US-key-layout. It’s beyond me why they insist on keeping it this way, or why they don’t offer a localized add-on package for purchase so I can replace the keycaps myself. It can not be that hard for a company like Razer to laser-engrave a couple of keys with a different print. Well, it is their loss as I’m heading to my favourite online shop now to order a Ducky Shine 4 instead.

Ozone Strike Battle Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Introduction


Ozone are one of the coolest names in the peripheral business. Time and time again, they’ve shown us that they can create some great gaming products, packed full of features, that have proven very popular with both gamers at home and with this eSports/pro gaming communities. So when I found out that they’ve created one of the sleekest, lightest and coolest looking mechanical keyboards I’ve ever seen, I simply couldn’t wait to get it in for review.

The new Ozone Strike Battle is a packed with all the features you would expect from a good quality mechanical gaming keyboard. It has an aluminum top panel, a TKL (ten keys less) design, fully mechanical keys with a choice of Cherry MX switches, full LED backlighting and much more!

“Strike Battle offers the best selection of cherry MX keyswitches, a short-body and an ergonomic design to ensure a comfortable use. Its high-quality aluminum layout gives you the best materials and performance to improve your gaming skills. It also features a minimalist design and a compact style that makes it perfect for competitive use, travelling gamers or anyone who needs more work space on their desk. Take it to the battlefield.” – Ozone

The Strike comes hard-wired with a braided cable and gold-plated USB connector. What’s interesting is that this is an incredibly thin and lightweight cable. The whole keyboard is as minimalist in terms of materials as possible, making it the lightest mech keyboard I’ve ever handled and the addition of the light cable means it’s really easy to carry around, or maneuver on your desktop.

As you can very obviously see, the aluminum coating behind the keys is finished in bright red, with a keyboard chassis that is literally no bigger than the layout of the keys, giving it a bezel free appearance.

The key caps are really nicely designed and have a jet black appearance with a fine laser etched typeface. Despite the keyboards compact size, the key spacing is pretty standard, so it’s unlikely you’ll have any ergonomic issues. On the F1-F4 keys, you’ll find controls for on-the-fly adjustments of the polling rate.

They keyboard is a TKL design, which means no number pad. This may be a deal breaker for some who rely on the number pad, but it does mean the keyboard is smaller, lighter, more portable and frees up a lot of desk space that you can use for your mouse. The F5-F12 keys are equipped with multimedia shortcuts, which can be accessed via the Fn-Shift key, while the top right keys will help you toggle through lighting effects and brightness levels; off / breathing / 10% / 30% / 70% / 100%. You’ll also notice these keys are labeled M1-M6, which can be used as macro keys over five profiles, giving you access to 30 macros that can be stored on the keyboards 64KB of internal memory; perfect for LAN gaming tournaments.

The arrow keys are tucked right down into the corner, which on most keyboards would be a little bit of a concern, but the low profile chassis negates any ergonomic issues and they’re actually perfectly comfortable to use. They’re actually even closer to my desk than the arrow keys on my normal keyboard; a Mionix Zibal 60.

Here you can see that lovely low profile design; I’m already falling in love with this keyboards ergonomics.

The keys have a slow sweep from front to back to give you better ergonomics and you can see that the key caps have been specially crafted to further enhance this; such as the slightly raised space bar.

There’s very little to see around the back, just the cable connection and a small Ozone logo on one side.

One the base, you’ll find five rubber grips, three at the front and two on the kick stands; more than enough to prevent it from sliding around your desktop.

The kick stands are only plastic, but they feel surprisingly durable, at least compared to most keyboards which have rather flimsy kick stands.

There’s no key-cap removal tool included, but you can easily pull them off to maintain your keyboard or to install custom keycaps if you so desire. As you can see, we have Cherry MX Red keys, which are equipped with red LED lighting.

The lighting is nice and vivid at the maximum setting and also provides a gorgeous under-glow that illuminates the red backplate, giving a really nice glow to the whole keyboard.

Roccat RYOS TKL Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Introduction


Roccat has one of the best reputations in the PC gaming market. Time and time again they’ve delivered incredibly high-quality peripherals that offer class leading performance. Their Kone and more recently their Ryos gaming mice are still some of the best mice I’ve ever used. Their ISKU is one of the best membrane keyboards on the market and again, their Ryos MK Pro mechanical keyboard which I reviewed a year ago, you guessed it, one of the best keyboards I’ve ever used. It’s for these reasons that I have very high expectations of the Ryos TKL Pro mechanical keyboard I’ll be reviewing today.

The Ryos was a great keyboard, but it’s design meant it was pretty unwieldy and not of much use to those with limited desk space and even less convenient for those who wanted to take their keyboard with them to LAN gaming events, as packing it in a big would be a tricky endeavour. TKL means ten keys less and that means the Ryos has dropped the number pad on the right of the keyboard entirely, making it a lot less wide.

At my disposal today, I have the gorgeous Cherry MX Brown switch edition of this premium grade mechanical gaming keyboard. It comes hard-wired with a long and thick black braided cable, which should provide the cable with a lot of extra durability throughout its lifetime.

Typical of modern Roccat keyboard designs, the Ryos RKL Pro comes with an oversized chassis that forms a fixed wrist rest. It’s quite a big wrist rest too and should provide you with a comfortable hand position while working and gaming.

Another unique aspect of this keyboard is the popular Thumbster keys; perfect for deploying extra macros without taking your hand off the important WASD keys.

The keyboard features high-quality key-caps with a laser etched font to allow the internal LED lighting to pass through. There’s a nice black and grey finish to the keyboard chassis, which has an almost Carbon style appearance.

The keys are really nicely spaced, despite this being a TKL keyboard, it’s actually still quite large, but nowhere near as wide as its big brother, the Ryos MK Pro.

The Ryos comes equipped with an FN-Shift function, giving you access to a range of multimedia controls and popular shortcuts via the F-Keys at the top of the keyboard. Personally, I prefer dedicated multimedia keys, but Fn-Shift is certainly a lot better than nothing.

The wrist rest is really nicely designed and has a huge Roccat logo across the front.

The keyboard chassis is fairly thick to allow for the mechanical key fittings, but overall it still has a nice and flat profile.

Here you can better see how far the wrist rest extends out from the space bar. There’s a slight rise towards the back of the keyboard, but this can be increased further with the kickstands on the underside.

On the base, there are four large rubber grips to stop the keyboard sliding around your desk, although given the overall weight of the keyboard, it’s unlikely to slide around anyway. Another welcome feature, slots are cut into the base of the keyboard to allow routing of cables under the keyboard.

Nothing of interest around the back.

The key-caps are removable, although Roccat didn’t include a key-cap removal tool. The Cherry MX Brown switches are just like every other MX Brown switch you’ve seen before and feature built-in LED lighting; which we’ll be testing shortly.

eTeknix 2014 Christmas Tech Buying Guide

Christmas time is almost here and as we wrap up warm over winter, we’re also wrapping up on a year of incredible products here at eTeknix HQ. We’ve had hundred of reviews this year, but no doubt many of you are eagerly writing your letters to Santa, or at least dropping hints to your parents, partner or friends for what you want for Christmas. Of course, there’s no doubt a fair few of you who are eager to treat themselves to something cool this Christmas. We’ve scratched our heads and had a really good think about what some of our favourite bits of technology are from this last year, and if you’ve still got some money left after the manic Black Friday sales, perhaps some of these products will be perfect for you.

While I admit that I couldn’t fit all of our favourites onto this list, its certainly a killer list of great products and they’ve all won awards from us here at eTeknix for one reason or another. If you’re after a headset, a chassis, a new keyboard, graphics card, or other cool gadget, you’ll find something that’s right for you in our guide.


Astro A38 Wireless Gaming Headset

The Astro A38 headset really stood out for me, not only is it one of the more stylish looking headsets I’ve ever reviewed, but the sound quality is nothing short of incredible. They’re a little expensive, but you certainly get what you pay for and Astro have yet to create a product that was anything less than stunning. They’re a perfect gift for yourself or someone else and ideal for those who love to listen to music and play games on the go, and the wireless technology and NFC pairing makes them very user friendly.

Check out our full review here – £144 from Astro Gaming


NZXT H440 Mid-Tower Chassis

A great PC deserves a great chassis and the H440 is certainly one of my all-time favourites. It’s not the biggest, and it may not even be the best chassis ever, that much is subjective, but it’s certainly got a lot of great features.  From the PSU shroud that helps keep cable management looking neat and tidy, to the comprehensive set of dust filters, thick sound dampening material lined panels and the large side panel window; you’ll find a lot to love about this chassis.

Check out our full review here – £89.99 from Overclockers


Thermaltake Core V71 Full Tower Chassis

Not all chassis’ are created equally, the Core V71 packs an incredible range of features that make it an ideal choice for high-end systems. The Thermaltake Core V71 looks great, but the real magic comes from its extreme flexibility. It has class leading radiator and fan mounting support and there’s no doubt that you’ll be able to build a stunning air-cooled system thanks to its array of 200mm pre-installed fans, or an incredible custom water cooling loop thanks to its modular interior. If you need extreme performance without spending crazy amounts of money, this chassis needs to be at the top of your list.

Check out our full review here – £131.34 from CCL Computers


Cooler Master Novatouch TKL Keyboard

Treating yourself to a high-quality mechanical keyboard is a solid investment for anyone who uses their computer a lot. Mechanical keyboards are expensive, but their overall build quality and performance goes a long way to justifying the cost. The NovaTouch TKL isn’t your average mechanical and features something called Hybrid Capacitive Switches that offer a truly premium and luxurious typing experience. If you want to treat your fingers to a more enjoyable typing experience, try out this keyboard!

Check out our full review here – £149.99 from Overclockers


Zowie FK1 Gaming Mouse

I have yet to use a Zowie mouse that wasn’t impressive and the FK1 is by far one of their best. While this mouse only offers minor revisions over its previous model, such as a slightly larger body and an improved sensor, it’s performance is second to none. It’s ambidextrous, has one of the best performing sensors available, great ergonomics and a stylish design. If you’re serious about your gaming and want something that offers eSports levels of performance, then you’ll love what the Zowie FK1 has to offer.

Check out our full review here – £49.99 from Overclockers


Nvidia Shield Android 5.0 Gaming Tablet

Mobile gaming is something that never really excited me, but Nvidia have really pulled out all the stops with their Shield Tablet. It’s powered by the incredibly powerful Tegra K1 graphics chip and it’s one of the fastest tablets on the market. It recently received an update that added the latest Android 5.0 operating system, as well as enabling Nvidia’s GRID cloud gaming service and all this comes on top of features like in-home game streaming, 4K video output, wireless controller support and a whole lot more. The Shield Tablet is easily one of the most versatile portable on the market.

Check out our full review here – from £239.99 at Overclockers


Nvidia GeForce “Maxwell” GTX 970 Graphics Card

Nvidia are on our list once again, first they dominate the mobile gaming market, now they’re showing their worth once again in the desktop GPU market. While we admit that the GeForce GTX 980 is an incredible graphics card, you’ll not be disappointed by their GTX 970 as it offers most of the performance of its bigger brother at a much more affordable price tag. This card is packed with the latest features, it looks fantastic and for gaming, it’s one of the best cards you can buy right now. If you want to welcome your computer into the world of high-end PC gaming, this is a great place to start.

Check out our full review here (Asus Strix GTX 970) – from £247.99 at Overclockers


Asus Rampage V Extreme LGA 2011-3 Motherboard

Intel really set a new standard for PC performance this year with the launch of their consumer X99 chipsets. It’s not a cheap upgrade right now, but a new support for the latest high-end CPUs, DDR4 memory and a wave of new features make this motherboard perfect for the enthusiast and professional markets. The Asus Rampage motherboard series has long been a popular choice and the V Extreme is certainly one of the best available right now.

Check out our full review here – £329.99 from Overclockers


Gigabyte Z97X Gaming5 1150 Motherboard

Extreme motherboards are one thing, but they’re a little out of the reach of your average consumer. The Gigabyte X97X Gaming 5 series of motherboards offers a lot of exciting features that make them a great choice for high-end gaming PCs, without the colossal price tags that you’ll find with enthusiast grade products. We loved this motherboard when we review it and while the black and red colour scheme is getting a little bit repetitive in the gaming market, it’s still a great looking board that is perfect for a wide range of systems.

Check out our full review here – £109.99 from Overclockers


Gigabyte Brix Ultra Compact System

A lot of the fame and glory goes to big gaming rigs with multiple graphics cards, loads of hard drives, water cooling and all that other crazy stuff, but this system turns all that on its head. The Brix may be small, but it packs enough power to be worthy of our Extreme Performance award! When space is limited, this little rig will fit on the back of your monitors VESA mount and it packs enough performance to get through a heavy workflow with ease. It’s a little expensive, but for a full-fledged PC that’s small enough to fit in a backpack, it’s a bargain!

Check out our full review here – £503.96 from Scan


PC Specialist Vortex 440 System

If you’re looking to upgrade to an X99 equipped system, then it’s likely that you’ll also be investing in DDR4 memory, a new CPU and a whole host of other components, so why not take all the fuss out of the process and invest in one of the best systems we’ve reviewed this year, the PC Specialist Vortex 440. We loved this system, partly because it was packed full of high-end hardware, but also because it was incredible value for money. Despite what the high price tag may suggest, the Vortex 440 actually worked out cheaper to buy than it would to build it yourself; now that’s a deal we can get behind!

Check out our full review here – around £1500 (customisable) from PC Specialist


OCZ Arc 100 240GB SSD

There’s a lot of SSD hard drives on the market right now and there are so many great ones that it’s now very easy to find one suitable for your system. The OCZ ARC 100 really stood out for us as it offers excellent performance, solid reliability, lots of features and it’s also competitively priced (per GB). Upgrading to an SSD is a great way to give your system a new lease of life, your system will boot faster and all of your games will benefit greatly from the speed boost. There is a cheaper 120GB model available, but the 240GB is the best balance of storage and value, making it a great choice for a boot drive.

Check out our full review here – £94.99 from Overclockers


Asus RT AC68U Dual Band Wireless Router

A really great router is something a lot of people overlook, it can be daunting spending a lot of money on tech like this, but the rewards soon pay for themselves. With more and more devices becoming internet connected, it’s likely that you’re not reaching the full potential of your devices networking capabilities. If you’re wanting to stream movies around your house from a NAS, play games online, while browsing the web from smartphones, tablets, consoles and other devices, then you’re going to see huge benefits from a router that can handle the most demanding workloads without sacrificing performance. The Asus RT AC68U looks great and offers a simple way to improve your home network. It’s expensive, but you certainly get what you pay for.

Check out our full review here – £166.98 from Overclockers


Crucial 32GB 2133MHz Quad Channel DDR4 Memory Kit

DDR4 memory marks the first major update to RAM memory formats in desktop systems in years, but it comes with a steep price tag. However, should you choose to make the leap for your high-end X99 platform build, then you should really consider the Crucial 32GB 2133MHZ kit. If you’re not too bothered about the aesthetics, this memory really does impress in terms of performance and offers excellent value for money vs many of the other DDR4 products on the market.

Check out our full review here – £319.99 from Overclockers


So, what will you be asking Santa for this year?

CM Storm NovaTouch TKL Topre Switch Keyboard Review

Introduction


New keyboards are a fairly common thing in this industry, I see wave after wave of mechanical and membrane switch keyboards come through the office each year. However, very few of the keyboards I review have had me as excited as the NovaTouch TKL. The NovaTouch has been a long time coming, we’ve seen it at trade shows around the world for over two years now, but it’s finally here and ready for consumers! Cooler Master has ditched the usual choices of Cherry, Kailh or any other brand of mechanical switch for this keyboard, instead opting for hybrid capacitive switches from Topre.

“Built to impress, the NovaTouch TKL utilizes exclusive Hybrid Capacitive switches which are exceptionally quiet and suitable for heavy-duty typing or gaming. The actuation force is precision-tuned to the strength of your fingers, while an ultra smooth, tactile key process makes NovaTouch the best feeling keyboard on the market” – CM Storm

The NovaTouch switches are a patented design, which use a spring mounted switch with an electrostatic capacitive sensor. Combined they offer a unique typing sensation that removes the key bounce associated with mechanical switches such as the Cherry MX range, while offering smooth and linear key travel. Cooler Master say this keyboard is ideal for gaming and typing, no doubt designed with the PC enthusiast in mind. Can this really be one of the best keyboards in the world? There’s only one way to find out.

As you can see from the specifications below, the NovaTouch TKL is equipped with a 1000hz/1ms polling rate, a high quality removable braided USB cable, N-Key Rollover and more; all fairly standard stuff for a high-end keyboard.

One thing I really like about this keyboard is that it comes bundled with a set of rubber O-Ring mods. If you don’t know what these are, check out our review of them right here. There’s a gold plated USB to micro-USB cable, a key-cap removal tool and a simple quick start guide.

The keyboard is pretty standard is terms of design. It’s constructed from high quality plastics and has a nice lightly textured matte finish to the chassis and the keys; giving it a premium quality, yet understated look.

There are no glaring logos, no flashy lights, no chrome strips or any of that other nonsense which you often see on high-end gaming friendly keyboards. The NovaTouch is sleek, clean and tidy.

Each of the key caps are really nicely finished, with a clear font and a slight curve to each key that provides a nice finger resting position.

The keyboard isn’t completely void of extra features, and you’ll find a few FN shift functions on the F-keys. F9-F12 will give you access to a Windows key lock and system volume control.

The keyboard has a slightly raised rear and a slow curve from front to back; this provides a nice typing position. The height can also be increased with the rear kickstands.

Around the back of the NovaTouch TKL you’ll find a micro-USB port tucked away on one side, as well as the only bit of obvious branding on the other.

The keyboard is fairly heavy at 895g, and there are four tough rubber grips on the base; so it’s unlikely to start sliding around on your desk.

The flip up feet are plastic, but they’re still pretty durable compared to the ones we often see on keyboards. There’s also a rubber grip on the base of each foot.

The new switches certainly look different from most mechanical keyboards, in fact they’re quite similar in appearance to plunger style switches. One thing I do like, is that the switches are fully compatible with Cherry MX stem key-caps, so you can still install a set of custom caps if you wanted to. Cooler Master had these switches specially made to feature the MX stem in the middle, all other Topre switches I’ve seen do not have this.

The key caps can easily be removed with the included key-cap puller, allowing for quick and easy maintenance of your keyboard.

As I mentioned before, the NovaTouch comes bundled with a set of O-Ring mods to help reduce key noise. Here you can see I’ve installed a few on the WASD keys to demonstrate how they’re installed. This will prevent the key caps from bottoming out as hard and should make them a little less noisy to type on.

Roccat Ryos TKL Pro Gaming Keyboard Revealed

Roccat has just revealed the latest entry to their popular Ryos range; the Ryos TKL Pro gaming keyboard. The new keyboard has been designed with a focus on the eSports and pro gaming communities. It comes equipped with a tenkeyless design that makes it LAN friendly, as this is easier to transport and it also allows a lot more space on your desk to maneuver your mouse.

“I’m in it to win it, so you’ll never see us put gear in our eSports team’s hands that don’t give them an edge. Team ROCCAT uses the Ryos TKL in competition because it optimizes their play. They have to demonstrate the talent, we have to provide the quality tested gear to help them show that talent. From HyuN to our League of Legends Jungler Jankos and the rest of our amazing team, the Ryos TKL gives them that tool, and now our fans can have it too.” – Says René Korte, CEO and founder of ROCCAT Studios.

Equipped with Cherry MX switches, Roccat Talk, a 32-Bit ARM Cortex processors, 2MB of flash memory, per-key illuminations and Lighting Engine 2.0; the Ryos TKL Pro is incredibly well equipped.

The new Ryos TKL Pro is launching immediately and will already be in most major retailers both online and offline from today. Prices should be in the region of 139.90 EUR.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of TechPowerUp.

Cooler Master Novatouch TKL Keyboard Now Available

The new Cooler Master Novatouch TKL keyboard is finally here! I’ve known about this keyboard since it was an early prototype, long before it was common knowledge amongst the enthusiast PC market; so long that I started to believe it was a mythical device that would never make it to retail.

The ultra high-end Novatouch TKL keyboard offers a unique hybrid capacitive board design, which is said to offer high speed, extreme accuracy and total comfort when typing or gaming. The keyboard utilizes Japanese made hybrid capacitive switches which offer a uniform 45g actuation force and a super low 1mm actuation point.

I’ve actually had the pleasure of using this keyboard on a few occasions and the action is incredibly fast. Cooler Master say its APM is around 3x that of traditional mechanical switches, as it has a much shorter debounce time; StarCraft II eSports gamers are going to love this!

The keyboard features N-Key rollover and anti-ghosting, rate adjustment, 1000 Hz/1ms polling rate, 128kb of internal memory, a removable USB cable and it’s also fully compatible with Cherry MX keycaps.

The keyboard is available now in North America and Asia, and will also become available in European markets in mid November.

Thank you Cooler Master for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Cooler Master.

Cooler Master Quick Fire Rapid i TKL Mechanical Keyboard Announced

We love gaming keyboards here at eTeknix and I must admit that I’m a big fan of the Cooler Master range of peripherals, mostly because everyone I’ve ever tested or owned has been superb to use, so I’m very happy to hear that they’ve expanded their range with the new Cooler Master Quick fire Rapid i.

The new keyboard is fully mechanical, coming in a choice of popular Cherry MX Switches, which many of you will be more than familiar with as they’re featured in nearly every major mechanical keyboard on the market. The Quick Fire Rapid i falls into the TKL category, better known as Ten Keys Less. TKL means that the keyboard is shorter and doesn’t feature a number pad, the shorter size makes the keyboard easier to pack and transport around with you, very handy if you’re heading out to a LAN event and it means the keyboard is better suited to gaming rather than day to day office work.

Stylistic Illumination

Information on the new Quick Fire Rapid-i, including features and notification of availability can be found here. This signup page lets you find out about one of the five unique LED backlight modes on the Rapid i called ActivLite. ActivLite means that every individual LED can be controlled separately. The mode as shown on the micro-site shows the backlight illumination upon each key press and fade out softly as your fingers move to the next key.

Powered by a 32-bit ARM processor, Rapid i’s ActivLite Technology incorporates five lighting modes with five brightness levels. Besides the five standard LED modes there are also four LED profiles to be programmed and stored directly on the keyboards memory. These means the possibility to program dedicated unique game and application LED profiles. So wherever you go with the Rapid i your LED profiles go with you!

Sleek & Feature Rich

Featuring a smooth and clean aesthetic the Quick Fire Rapid i includes a non-glossy matte soft-touch finish and mechanical Cherry MX Switches. Travel with ease by simply removing the included braided USB cable and storing it. At all times, the Quick Fire Rapid i is a journey-ready partner with its super-slim body tenkeyless (TKL) body.

We’re really looking forwards to putting this sleek looking keyboard through its paces in the coming weeks and while we’re familiar with the performance of Cherry MX switches, I can’t wait to see that per key lighting in action. More information such as availability and pricing will follow shortly.

Thank you Cooler Master for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Cooler Master.